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Family Plot is a two deck game, a variation of the game The Plot. The Plot is an extremely difficult game, Family Plot has easier rules that make it possible to win a reasonable percentage of the time.
At the start of the game, one card each is dealt to 12 tableau piles. 13 cards are dealt to a reserve pile. One card is dealt to the first foundation pile to be the foundation base card. The remainder of the cards form a stock.
The object of the game is to move all the cards to the eight foundation piles. At first, though, you can only build on the first foundation pile. You have to build all 13 cards up in suit on the first foundation pile before you can play any cards to the other seven piles.
In the tableau, building is down by suit, wrapping from Ace to King if necessary. However, until the first foundation pile is completed, any card that is of the same rank as the first card dealt to the first foundation (the foundation base card) is a dead card - it cannot be played on nor can it be played on another card.
For example, in game #1, the first card dealt to the first foundation is a Four of Hearts. In the tableau, you cannot build on any Four or build a Four on any Five until the first foundation pile is completed.
Cards from the reserve may be played on any non-empty tableau pile or to the foundations.
Play consists of dealing through the stock one card at a time. There is one redeal.
At the beginning of the game, it is important to complete the first foundation pile as quickly as possible. Therefore it is best to try to get as many cards of the same suit as the first foundation card in the tableau as you can.
In game #1, build as many Hearts as possible in the tableau. Since there are two times through the deck, ignore cards of other suits unless they can be played on other cards in the deck. Reserve spaces for Hearts.
Also, try to always keep at least one space in the tableau. Spaces can be used to build at the top of a sequence. For example, if the top card of a pile is the Jack of Diamonds, if the Queen of Diamonds comes up, play it to an empty space then move the pile with the Jack of Diamonds to it. You can only do this as long as you keep a space available.
Once the first foundation pile is complete, you can then start playing to build the cards of the other suits.
An average player wins Family Plot 50% of the time. Good players can win nearly every time.
Family Plot is one of the 850 games in Pretty Good Solitaire.
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